Busia is a busy border town and commercial market center, Busia faces a highly fluctuating and steadily increasing cross border population. For this reason, its social problems are more challenging than in other towns of comparable size. Mobile cross border and host populations in Busia are at disproportionate risk of acquiring and spreading the virus due to overcrowding, poor access to safe water and sanitation and limited access to health services.
The Government of Uganda has put in place efforts to address the epidemic in Busia border, but young people and their families need to know how to protect themselves from catching and transmitting
coronavirus. The government imposed severe movement restrictions and contact restrictions on the entire populations, such as stay at home orders,
social distancing, self-isolation and quarantine which is threatening the
livelihood, if applied over long period of time, also because the baseline
transmissibility of the virus in overcrowded communities with poor
hygiene is likely to be higher. YES modeled a more targeted approach by mapping the most at risk hot spots for intervention and developed a mobilization strategy e.g. places like drinking joints, trading
centers, border community.
YES provided mega phones to inform the public about the epidemic. YES also printed the World Health Organizations(WHO) health guidelines on COVID-19 prevention for distributions, YES supported photocopies of 1000 IEC materials for the district. Following the presidential address to the nation, the chairman Board of Governors and the Executive Director convened standing meeting with key based project staffs to know what is essential in the fight against COVID-19. Staffs were advised to communicate to the office in case of any suspected cases in their community, be vigilant and always get updated news on radio and television from Ministry of Health.
During the District security meeting, where YES representative was present, 4 key areas that needs intervention are highlighted below;
- Need for a availability and access of safe water, and access because then Busia had taken 3days without water, and the community members converging in the water spring to collect unsafe water for domestic use.
- The need to promote the role of individuals and households in spread and prevention of COVID-19 through improved behavior change.
- Checking the behavior and movement of commercial sex workers, trucker drivers from Kenya and also addressing the movement of men with multiple wives in different locations.
- Provide support for the frontline medical staffs on duty, their drivers and what guidelines are in place for arresting suspects, confinement and crowding, including provision of handwashing facilities at the police entrance